Mother thankful for bereavement group

Published 9:47 am Friday, December 6, 2013

To the Editor:

As we have all just celebrated Thanksgiving, giving thanks for family and friends, I just wanted to let all of you readers know about a bereavement group for parents that I am so thankful for. It started 11 years ago when my daughter, Amy Phelps, was tragically killed in an automobile accident on Route 35 coming home from work in Richmond.

I am thankful that this group has supported me and my grief along this journey of grief, and I want to let all of you know about our group so if you or someone you know needs us, we meet every third Monday of the month at the Children’s Center, Franklin, with Rosalind Cutchins facilitating our group. We laugh, cry and share our children. Come and join us on this Monday.

Yes, I am thankful that our community and surrounding areas have this gift and what a gift it is. See, if your child has not died you would not know what I am talking about, but if you have a child whose life was taken way too early, you understand the overwhelming grief it can bring you and unless you have a group like ours, you just can’t deal with the pain this grief brings.

I am also thankful that this Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Workforce Center, Franklin Campus, we bereaved parents, friends and relatives of our children come together and light a candle in memory of our child. This is a worldwide candle lighting that we participate in and it has truly been a blessing for 11 years.

It is “bittersweet” – bitter because we miss our children so much, and sweet because this day around the world and in Franklin, Va., we remember our children.

If you are a bereaved parent, or not and you know someone who is grieving the loss of a child, come out on Sunday and join us as we celebrate our special “angels.” God bless you and just one more thing, have you hugged or called your child today, if not – do it! It may be your last hug or call.

Tricia Phelps,
mom to Amy Phelps